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AMR’s iFi Micro range features iUSBPower and iDAC

  • i Stands for interactive, Fi for fidelity. These are the fruits of a joint venture between iFi Micro and Abbingdon Music Research (AMR).  The iFi Micro products feature Reagan-esque ‘trickle-down’ from AMR’s higher-end technology.

    The iFi iDAC (AU$349) seems interesting enough. There’s an ESS Sabre chipset (presumably 9023?) in a small-ish case with both line and headphone outputs. The USB input is asynchronous (check) and can decode anything up to 24/192 (check). (On paper at least) so far, so good.

    Of more interest to existing DAC owners is the iUSBPower (AU$249): it sits between computer and DAC filters out (some of) the detritus from your computer’s USB 5V line. You get to feed your DAC with a much cleaner power supply. This (theoretically) should make for a more satisfying listen: more emphatic transients, deeper tonal colours, blacker background. I picture the iUSBPower being a neat add-on to the Audiophilleo or similar.

    Inputs are a 9V DC low noise power supply and type B USB (that connects to your computer).

    At the opposite end of the unit are two USB Type-A outputs: “Power only” and “Power + Audio”, either are for connecting the iUSBPower to your DAC.  To use the former you’ll need a USB ‘splitter’ cable – coming in February 2013 from iFi Micro.

    Also being released in the iFi range are the Class A iCan headphone amplifier (AU$299) and iPhono phono stage (AU$449). Surely ‘iPhono’ skirts dangerously close to ‘iPhone’?  Besides, the ‘i’ prefix has been done to death by Apple; anyone else using it just makes me cringe a little.  Regardless of my gut reaction to AMR’s naming conventions, they could be onto a winner with this iFi Micro range.

    Further information: iFi Audio / Maxmedia

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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